Chewsday Review- Impressed Juice

Today's request comes from a Mum of one of my picky eating clients. This little boy finds veggies REALLY challenging, but he will happily accept this green juice. His Mum would like to know if he's getting any goodness from it. Let's see!

🔶Ingredients:

🔹Cucumber (38%), pink lady apple (37%), pineapple (20%), kale (3%), spinach (1%), mint (1%)

🔹Common allergens include: nil

🔶The positives:

🔹The ingredients are entirely from fruits and vegetables, with no concentrate or added sugar.

🔹The juice has quite a different taste to sweeter fruit juices, which can be useful as a taste stepping stone for fussy eaters, before they feel confident with the taste of vegetables. This juice is 42% vegetables, which is a bit better than most of the other sweet juices or purées on the market.

🔹Pretty much no fat or salt (which is not surprising with a product like this)

🔹This juice contains 20.8g of sugar, which fits under the healthy guideline for sugar in drinks (<7.5g per 100mL). This is similar to a whole apple, but there's no fibre to balance it out (see below in the negatives for an explanation of this). The amount of sugar is less than in juice made entirely from fruit, as it's balanced out by the lower sugar content of cucumber, kale and spinach.

🔶The negatives:

🔹Cold pressed juice is NOT pasteurised, which means heat has not been used to kill all of the possible bacteria present. The cold pressing does this to some extent, but not enough to make it suitable to recommend for pregnant women, infants or those with a compromised immune system. Listeria contamination is the particular problem as this very harmful bacteria is not destroyed without heat.

🔹The main issue with juice, as opposed to whole pieces of fruit, is that almost all of the fibre is removed in the juicing process. For example, an medium apple provides about 4g of fibre. This juice provides 0.3g of fibre in 325mL, which is obviously significantly less. Fibre is important for good health, but also to provide fullness cues after eating. Juices don't provide these same feelings of fullness without the fibre, which means we're likely to drink more of them- which comes with more sugar and more fruit than we actually need.

🔹It's expensive! $3.50/bottle (325mL) 🤑

🔶The marketing:

🔹"The only additive in our juice is love". Bleurgh 😷

🔹"Never heat treated". This means that there may be a bit more vitamin C and some B vitamins as compared to pasteurised juice, but there's also more of a risk of bacterial infection. So, weigh up your options.

🔶The alternatives:

🔹I'm not a big fan of juice for kids, because most of the time it's just unnecessary. Where possible, I'd prefer whole fruits or vegetables. But, if it helps your fussy eater to learn about new tastes, then I can see a place for it.

About the author of this post:

Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. She has a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla on her website and sign up to her newsletter, and her Facebook page or on Instagram

You can also email her.

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